Moxibustion (or “moxa”) is an ancient form of heat therapy. It uses the ground up leaves of the plant Mugwort (Artemesia Vulgaris). This substance is either rolled up into a solid stick, and burned indirectly over specific acupuncture points, or the powdery substance is burned directly on the needle or on the skin, allowing for heat to deeply penetrate the meridians, yet not burn the skin. The heat stimulates the flow of blood, and increases circulation.
Medical historians believe that Moxa pre-dates acupuncture, and that needling was initially introduced as a supplement to Moxa in the 2nd century BCE.